Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Running again

This is my calf, post race.

I captioned this picture on Facebook saying, "this is what a 42 year old calf can do, swim 750 metres, Bike 25 km, and run 7 km."

That was three years ago.

These days, I am learning to run again.

These past few months, every time I ran, I kept back casting, remembering when I could run far, if not fabulously and I have been discouraged.

The running two minutes, walk one minute technique to build up cardio and train without injury was bogging me down.

This week,  it was time to shake it up.

I thought I would try running some intervals.

Back in November, my brilliant trainer, showed me running intervals on the treadmill. But, I thought, at the time, "what good is 10 minutes of running?"

Because I am cycling, my cardio is pretty good; yesterday and today I was able to run 20 seconds, jump to the side of the treadmill and rest 10 seconds, then run again for 20 seconds, for a full 30 minutes.

It turns out that running intervals is far easier on my psyche and still really great for my heart.

Why run again? I just feel so good afterwards, mentally and physically. My heart muscle has a chance to pump and my body has a chance to sweat.

According to this chart at my gym, I ran at a vigorous-strenuous exertion level and kept my heart rate at 169 to low 170's.

After running, I have noticed my mind is at ease and at rest, even running intervals.

Turns out there is science, beyond the idea of the runner's "high" to suggest that exercise, (including running) is good for your brain.

In the book, Spark, which I am reading, Dr. John Ratey, explores
the connection between exercise and the brain’s performance and shows how even moderate exercise will supercharge mental circuits to beat stress, sharpen thinking, enhance memory, and much more.
Ratey asserts that exercise is truly our best defence against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to aggression to menopause to Alzheimer's.            

Any motor skill more complicated than walking has to be learned, and thus it challenges the brain.
The best advice, is to get fit and then continue challenging [yourself]. If you get your body in shape, your mind will follow. 
So, I will run and believe the promise that in trusting, I will soar high on wings like eagles.

Now, I just need to move my mind out of the pre-contemplative stage related to nutrition and start eating like an athlete in this Year of Living Athletically.

What about you? What are you trying for the first time or again?

thanks for reading,


  1. I'm doing gymnastics like work in cross fit and yoga. Handstands and bridges and the splits... 40+ is just a number, right? Heavy lifting has been a treat too. Yes, and nutrition is part of being an athlete. It's a decision and a choice to include the best foods for the best results. Love you!

    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks for your comment. Handstands? very impressive.